Schiavone turns on style to reach Roland Garros last four

FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE produced the performance of her life to stun world No3 Caroline Wozniacki and become the first Italian woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 56 years.

The 29-year-old dominated from start to finish, outgunning the Danish teenager with a powerful all-round game before coming though 6-2, 6-2 at a rain-sodden Roland Garros.

Schiavone broke her opponent’s serve six times, and said: “It’s an honour for me to play here. I played really well. I’m enjoying it so much.

“I have been doing this job all of my life. It’s a very special emotion to reach the semi-finals especially when you work hard every morning, every afternoon.”

Schiavone will now play Russian Elena Dementieva in the last four after the fifth seed came from a set down to beat Nadia Petrova 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 and reach her first French Open semi-final since 2004.

Both players struggled with injuries in an error-strewn match but Dementieva, seeking a first Grand Slam success at the 46th time of asking, won through after comfortably taking the final two sets.

In the remaining quarter-finals, played today, world No1 Serena Williams takes on Australian Sam Stosur, while fourth seed Jelena Jankovic faces Kazakhstan’s giant-killer Yaroslava Shvedova.

Meanwhile, in the other men’s quarter-final, Andy Murray’s conqueror Tomas Berdych marched on after he destroyed Mikhail Youzhny for the loss of just six games.

The in-form Czech clinched his place in a first Grand Slam semi-final with a comfortable 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 victory over the Russian.

It signals a remarkable change in fortune for the 15th seed, who had been eliminated in the second round in five of his six previous appearances at Roland Garros.